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Locals contribute over $3.4M to fight Newsom recall

George Marcus, Laurene Powell Jobs among top donors

Gov. Gavin Newsom, shown here with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan during an Aug. 17, 2021 tour of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, has received over $3 million in contributions from Midpeninsula donors to fight the Sept. 14 recall. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

With the California recall election less than three weeks away, the campaign fighting the effort to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom has established a commanding lead in cash raised — with local donors playing a major role.

Even though none of the 46 candidates vying to replace Newsom are from the Midpeninsula, area residents are leading the way when it comes to raising money to fight the recall, campaign finance data from Secretary of State Shirley Weber shows.

Of the roughly $58 million that the main anti-recall campaign has raised to date, the vast majority has come from labor unions and statewide political action committees. At the same time, more than $3.4 million came from individuals in the Midpeninsula cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Redwood City, Portola Valley and Woodside. This includes $1.43 million from Palo Alto donors, a field that includes — among others — prominent tech executives, philanthropists, developers and investors.

The biggest local donor — by a wide margin — was George Marcus, founder of the real estate firm Marcus & Millichap Company and longtime donor to Democratic causes. Marcus donated $1 million to the anti-recall campaign, Stop the Republican Recall. Among all of Newsom's individual donors, only Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, contributed more to the cause: $3 million.

Hastings, Marcus and Connie Balmer, a Washington resident who contributed $1 million to oppose the recall, are the only individuals on the list of top 16 donors to the anti-recall campaign. Others on the list include the California Democratic Party, which gave $2.15 million to oppose the recall; Dignity Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which contributed $2 million; the California Teachers Association Independent Expenditure Committee, which gave $1.8 million; and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Truth in American Government Fund, which contributed $1.75 million.

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Marcus, well known for his Democratic activism, is hardly the only donor from this area to make a sizable contribution to the campaign fighting the recall. Atherton philanthropist Elizabeth D. Simons, chair of the Heising-Simons Foundation board, made two contributions to the committee totaling $575,000. Her husband, Mark Heising, founder of the investment firm Medley Partners, contributed another $425,000.

Other notable Palo Alto residents who contributed to the anti-recall campaign are Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, who gave $400,000 to the committee known as Stop the Republican Recall. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who now manages the investment firm Hillspire LLC, contributed $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The anti-recall committee also benefited from contributions from Redwood City investor Doris Fisher, who gave $250,000, and developer Richard Tod Spieker, an Atherton resident who contributed $100,000 to keep Newsom in office. Other local developers who have chipped in to support Newsom include John Sobrato, who gave $6,000 over two separate contributions, and Peter Pao, who contributed $500.

They are among the roughly 2,000 contributors from the Midpeninsula who donated to fight the recall effort, helping the anti-recall campaign establish a commanding fundraising lead over those of Newsom's challengers for the governor's job. The overwhelming majority are small donors. Of the contributions that had been reported as of Aug. 25, all but 32 were for amounts of $1,000 or lower.

Several of Newsom's 46 opponents in the recall effort have also benefited from local largess. Talk show host Larry Elder, who has amassed a war chest of $6.8 million, is among them. Though his list of top donors is dominated by contributors from southern California, Elder has also received $32,400 contributions from Woodside resident Saul Fox, CEO of Fox Paine; $5,000 from Palo Alto investor William Jarvis; and $2,000 contribution from local developer Boyd Smith.

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Woodside resident Stacey Siebel, a philanthropist whose husband, Thomas Siebel, founded the software company Siebel Systems, gave $5,000 to Elder's campaign. She also contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Kevin Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor who is also hoping to replace Newsom.

Despite these efforts, the total amount raised by Elder's campaign from the Midpeninsula is just a fraction of that received by the anti-recall faction. Donors from the cities Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Portola Valley accounted for $79,575 in contributions received by Elder.

Businessman John Cox has reported $7.7 million in contributions, though $6.9 million consist of money he contributed to his own campaign. His biggest contributor from the Midpeninsula area was the Sunnyvale-based construction company De Anza Building and Maintenance, which gave $32,400 to Cox (while state law caps contributions to gubernatorial candidates at $32,400, that rule does not apply to contributions made by political parties or by political action committees that are not tied to a particular candidate). No one else from the Midpeninsula gave more than $100 to the Cox campaign, finance records show.

Faulconer's biggest supporter from the area is Palo Alto resident John Chambers, who contributed $32,400 to Faulconer. Los Altos Hills resident Douglas Scrivener contributed $17,500, while Woodside resident Michael Marks gave $15,000, records show.

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Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Locals contribute over $3.4M to fight Newsom recall

George Marcus, Laurene Powell Jobs among top donors

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 26, 2021, 11:27 am

With the California recall election less than three weeks away, the campaign fighting the effort to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom has established a commanding lead in cash raised — with local donors playing a major role.

Even though none of the 46 candidates vying to replace Newsom are from the Midpeninsula, area residents are leading the way when it comes to raising money to fight the recall, campaign finance data from Secretary of State Shirley Weber shows.

Of the roughly $58 million that the main anti-recall campaign has raised to date, the vast majority has come from labor unions and statewide political action committees. At the same time, more than $3.4 million came from individuals in the Midpeninsula cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Redwood City, Portola Valley and Woodside. This includes $1.43 million from Palo Alto donors, a field that includes — among others — prominent tech executives, philanthropists, developers and investors.

The biggest local donor — by a wide margin — was George Marcus, founder of the real estate firm Marcus & Millichap Company and longtime donor to Democratic causes. Marcus donated $1 million to the anti-recall campaign, Stop the Republican Recall. Among all of Newsom's individual donors, only Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, contributed more to the cause: $3 million.

Hastings, Marcus and Connie Balmer, a Washington resident who contributed $1 million to oppose the recall, are the only individuals on the list of top 16 donors to the anti-recall campaign. Others on the list include the California Democratic Party, which gave $2.15 million to oppose the recall; Dignity Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which contributed $2 million; the California Teachers Association Independent Expenditure Committee, which gave $1.8 million; and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Truth in American Government Fund, which contributed $1.75 million.

Marcus, well known for his Democratic activism, is hardly the only donor from this area to make a sizable contribution to the campaign fighting the recall. Atherton philanthropist Elizabeth D. Simons, chair of the Heising-Simons Foundation board, made two contributions to the committee totaling $575,000. Her husband, Mark Heising, founder of the investment firm Medley Partners, contributed another $425,000.

Other notable Palo Alto residents who contributed to the anti-recall campaign are Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, who gave $400,000 to the committee known as Stop the Republican Recall. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who now manages the investment firm Hillspire LLC, contributed $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The anti-recall committee also benefited from contributions from Redwood City investor Doris Fisher, who gave $250,000, and developer Richard Tod Spieker, an Atherton resident who contributed $100,000 to keep Newsom in office. Other local developers who have chipped in to support Newsom include John Sobrato, who gave $6,000 over two separate contributions, and Peter Pao, who contributed $500.

They are among the roughly 2,000 contributors from the Midpeninsula who donated to fight the recall effort, helping the anti-recall campaign establish a commanding fundraising lead over those of Newsom's challengers for the governor's job. The overwhelming majority are small donors. Of the contributions that had been reported as of Aug. 25, all but 32 were for amounts of $1,000 or lower.

Several of Newsom's 46 opponents in the recall effort have also benefited from local largess. Talk show host Larry Elder, who has amassed a war chest of $6.8 million, is among them. Though his list of top donors is dominated by contributors from southern California, Elder has also received $32,400 contributions from Woodside resident Saul Fox, CEO of Fox Paine; $5,000 from Palo Alto investor William Jarvis; and $2,000 contribution from local developer Boyd Smith.

Woodside resident Stacey Siebel, a philanthropist whose husband, Thomas Siebel, founded the software company Siebel Systems, gave $5,000 to Elder's campaign. She also contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Kevin Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor who is also hoping to replace Newsom.

Despite these efforts, the total amount raised by Elder's campaign from the Midpeninsula is just a fraction of that received by the anti-recall faction. Donors from the cities Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Portola Valley accounted for $79,575 in contributions received by Elder.

Businessman John Cox has reported $7.7 million in contributions, though $6.9 million consist of money he contributed to his own campaign. His biggest contributor from the Midpeninsula area was the Sunnyvale-based construction company De Anza Building and Maintenance, which gave $32,400 to Cox (while state law caps contributions to gubernatorial candidates at $32,400, that rule does not apply to contributions made by political parties or by political action committees that are not tied to a particular candidate). No one else from the Midpeninsula gave more than $100 to the Cox campaign, finance records show.

Faulconer's biggest supporter from the area is Palo Alto resident John Chambers, who contributed $32,400 to Faulconer. Los Altos Hills resident Douglas Scrivener contributed $17,500, while Woodside resident Michael Marks gave $15,000, records show.

Comments

CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Aug 26, 2021 at 12:34 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 12:34 pm

There is a lot of money being spent by those who have made a staggering amount of money from Newsome's spending & massive regulations. Removing Newsome & breaking the Democratic/Progressive stranglehold on CA will cause real economic damage to these elites. Meanwhile Californians outside of SF, LA & Sacramento are overwhelmingly for the recall because Newsome's lies and "policies" are destroying their lives.

Newsome's greatest fear is that the CA people will wake up & follow Howard Beale in "Network" -Web Link


MenloBeeKeeper
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:13 pm
MenloBeeKeeper, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:13 pm

The article states: “Of the roughly $58 million that the main anti-recall campaign has raised to date, the vast majority has come from labor unions and statewide political action committees.” Newsom doesn’t have support from voters, he has support from unions and the political machine. This recall isn’t about Trump (though Newsom would like you to think so)- it’s about voters that are not happy with how Newsom is running the state of California.


MenloBeeKeeper
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:15 pm
MenloBeeKeeper, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:15 pm
Observer
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 26, 2021 at 9:32 pm
Observer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Newsom may be a B- governor, but anyone who thinks a talk show host will do better is seriously delusional.


ln
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 27, 2021 at 5:45 pm
ln, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Aug 27, 2021 at 5:45 pm

@observer:
As someone once said, we'd probably have a better governor than Newsom by picking a name randomly from the phone book. Pretty much anyone I know would do a better job than Newsom has done to....I mean for California. And no one I know would have been so tone deaf to have had an unmasked $15000 dinner at The French Laundry with their favorite lobbyists. He's terrible. Get him out of office!


Observer
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 30, 2021 at 12:43 pm
Observer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Well, I guess "someone" is wrong.

The real travesty is that Newsom will receive more votes than any other candidate, but because of the two-step process, could be replaced by a candidate selected by fewer than 5% of voters.

The leading opponent thinks we should return to the 1950s, doesn't believe in the vaccine or climate change, opposes equal rights and minimum wage, and has no clue (much less experience) about how to govern one of the world's largest economies.

Sure, the French Laundry stunt was idiotic. But the only people it affected were the servers at the restaurant who got a generous tip that night. Otherwise, Newsom has been a model of good governance when it comes to managing the pandemic. Have there been missteps? Sure, none of us knew what we were facing in March 2020, so he had to improvise as he's gone along. But there's a reason that the numbers have been so much better in California -- dragged down only by red parts of the state.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2021 at 8:37 am
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2021 at 8:37 am

I don't know about anyone else but the propaganda ads against the recall bother me. They refer to this as "the Republican Recall". I am a pretty hard core democrat and I signed the petition and I know a lot of Democrats that did. Why? Because more important than party affiliation is integrity and character. Newsom had an affair with the wife of his friend which tells me he lacks character. He got busted at the French Laundry not following his own rules which tells me he is a hypocrite and he sent his kids to a private school that stayed open while the public schools were closed and talked about how we all had to do this to keep everyone safe.

The California Democrats have shot themselves in the foot, They could have still pushed the No on Recall while having a strong Democrat on the list incase the recall went through. The chose to go all or nothing and now I would not be surprised if we ended up with a Republican Governor for the next year and a half.


Willy
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 3, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Willy, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 3, 2021 at 2:01 pm

@enough

"the Republican Recall"

This is a republican driven recall.
Supported by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and a host of fellow trumpers (Grenel, etc..,) funded by many of them and the Republican National Committee, this is a Republican-led effort.

All the polls detailed enough to have a RV/LV screen show recall support from registered voters around 36-38%, same as trump got last November (34%.)

Likely-voter screens give it roughly 38-43% (last 5 polls.)


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm

Willy,

As I said I know a lot of Democrats that signed the petition. Like me they do not think Newsom is doing a good job and we can and certainly do better. I am sorry the Democratic Party refused to put forth a good replacement but that is their fault. If we get a Republican Governor then the Democratic party is partly to blame.

If this is so strongly supported by Republicans why didn't the California GOP endorse a candidate?


Willy
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2021 at 9:29 am
Willy, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2021 at 9:29 am

It *is* a republican driven recall; suggesting that the (CA GOP's battle re failure to endorse) highlights a lack of evidence to support the silly notion that this somehow isn't a republican recall.

" why didn't the California GOP endorse a candidate?"
The short answer is: this is another example of why the CA GOP is such a mess, a failure of a political party that hasn't won a a statewide race in 15 years.

California needs a functioning 2nd political party, not the failed CA GOP. It's time to remake the CA GOP into a true conservative party that offers winning policies and candidates. Not guys like Elder who hides his taxes, hides from debates, etc..

First step in remaking the CA GOP is to kick out the crazies. Then create sound policies that Californians will support. Then find some quality candidates. This recall just delays that happening. This recall was a mistake by the CA GOP.


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